Garbine Muguruza to Play This Year’s Hopman Cup

Garbine Muguruza is ready to take on the world…

The 24-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan tennis player and compatriot David Ferrer will represent Spain in the Hopman Cup mixed teams event in late December.

Garbine Muguruza

The eight-country tournament is scheduled from December 29 to January 5 on indoor hard courts at Perth Arena. It’s used by the players as a tuneup event for the Australian Open, which begins on January 14 in Melbourne.

Serena Williams and Roger Federer have also committed to play, while former Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev will represent Germany.

Frances Tiafoe will be Williams’ partner for the United States, while Belinda Bencic will again represent Switzerland with Federer to defend the title they won in January over Kerber and Zverev in the final.

Williams and Federer are scheduled to play mixed doubles against each other when the U.S. meets Switzerland on January 1.

Hopman Cup Teams:
Australia: Matthew Ebden and Ashleigh Barty
France: Lucas Pouille and Alize Cornet
Germany: Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber
Britain: Cameron Norrie and Katie Boulter
Greece: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari
Spain: David Ferrer and Garbine Muguruza
Switzerland: Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic
United States: Frances Tiafoe and Serena Williams

David Ferrer Advances to the Semifinals at the ASB Classic

David Ferrer is two wins away from a handful of titles in Auckland…

The 35-year-old Spanish tennis player, a four-time champion at the ATP Tour‘s ASB Classic, has advanced to the semifinals at the tournament for the eighth time after defeating South Korea’s Hyeon Chung 6-3, 6-2 in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

David Ferrer

Ferrer’s semifinal opponent will be another former champion, second-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov 7-6 (4), 6-3.

del Potro looked in top form ahead of the Australian Open with his second straight-sets victory, having beaten Canadian teenage star Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-4 in the second round. In two matches in Auckland, 2009 champion del Potro has yet to concede a break point.

“Of course I’m happy to get through. He’s one of the toughest guys on tour,” del Potro said. “Today’s match was so close. He hits the ball so hard and we play long rallies, big points and I think I took all my chances to win.”

Another former champion, fifth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, will face Robin Haase of the Netherlands in the other semifinal. Bautista Agut defeated Jiri Vesely 7-6 (1), 6-1 on Thursday while Haase beat Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal On Course to Play at the 2016 Summer Olympics

It’s Rio or bust for Rafael Nadal

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis star, a former World No. 1, looks to be on course to play at the 2016 Summer Olympics after an encouraging update on his fitness.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal is due to be Spain’s flag-bearer at the 2016 Rio Games but is battling a wrist problem — he previously missed out on the honor due to injury in London four years ago.

Teammate David Ferrer said on Thursday that the 14-time Grand Slam winner will definitely travel to Brazil, while Nadal’s coach and uncle Toni was encouraged by Wednesday’s hit-out with Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.

Ferrer told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser: “I will travel with Rafa on Sunday to Rio.

“His situation is more delicate. It’s never easy to come back after an injury. He will see how he feels.”

Nadal is scheduled to play singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles in Rio.

And Toni Nadal said: “We began to intensify his training in order to be ready be in time for the first round.

“Training with Andy Murray was a really hard first time with another top player and we are happy. Things worked out well.

“In Rio, we will start training with the maximum-level players and see how Rafael will respond to the difficulty of the competition.

“There are doubts about his game. I believe that is normal – these are the same questions we’ve always had after a period of inactivity. Starting with the Olympics is not easy but if we are lucky in the draw, he can improve step by step.”

Ramos-Vinolas Upsets No. 1 Seed David Ferrer to Reach Swedish Open Final

Albert Ramos-Vinolas is one win away from his first ATP World Tour title…

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis player beat No. 1 seed David Ferrer 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday for the first time in seven tries and will now play in his second career final at the Swedish Open in Bastad.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas

The third seed will meet another countryman in Sunday’s final: Fifth seed Fernando Verdasco swept Gastao Elias of Portugal 6-3, 6-1.

Elias was playing in his first ATP World Tour semifinal.

Ramos-Vinolas had been 0-6 in his head-to-head series against Ferrer, a two-time champion in Bastad (2007, 2012). But the left-hander broke Ferrer five times to move into the final in an hour and 48 minutes.

“I’m very happy. I beat a great player and one of the best on clay in the last five, six years,” Ramos-Vinolas said.

Ramos-Vinolas last played in a final in 2012 (Casablanca, l. to Andujar). He’ll also try to reverse his head-to-head series against Verdasco as the 32-year-old leads the series 3-1, including a 2014 win in Bastad.

Verdasco reached his second tour-level final of the season with dominant serving. The left-hander won 75 per cent of his service points. He also landed almost eight of 10 first serves. Verdasco, though, was broken once, the first time he’s lost his serve in Bastad (32/33).

The seven-time ATP World Tour titlist will go for his second crown of the season (also Bucharest, d. Pouille).

“It’s a final,” Verdasco said. “A final is never easy.”

Ferrer Beats Dustin Brown to Advance to Swedish Open Semifinals

David Ferrer continues to roll…

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis player battled past Dustin Brown 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Swedish Open on Friday.

David Ferrer

Ferrer, the top seed and two-time champion at the tournament, improved his head-to-head record versus the German player to 4-0 following the 92-minute win, which was watched in the stands by Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg.

Ferrer will next face his compatriot, third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

“He’s playing his best tennis of this season so I’m going to have to play very good and very consistent to have a good chance to be in the final,” said Ferrer of his opponent.

Ramos-Vinolas reached his second semifinal of 2016 as he defeated Andrea Arnaboldi. The Spaniard saved six of the 11 break points he faced to outlast the Italian 5-7, 7-5, 6-0 in what was their first tour-level meeting.

Fifth seed Fernando Verdasco eased into the last four in Bastad with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Facundo Bagnis in 68 minutes. The Spaniard will continue to bid for his eighth ATP World Tour singles title when he faces Gastao Elias.

“It’s great for me to be in the semifinals here again. Today I’m one step closer and hopefully tomorrow I will keep playing as good as today or even better,” said Verdasco. “I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve been playing better and better every day. Tomorrow I will face a Portuguese player and they are both playing good this week. I know that it’s going to be difficult.”

Elias reached his first ATP World Tour semifinal by upsetting second seed Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-2.

The 25-year-old Portuguese tennis player capitalized on five of his seven break point chances to notch his first win over his compatriot (Sousa now leads rivalry 2-1) in 62 minutes.

Muguruza: The Higest-Seeded Latina at This Year’s Wimbledon

If all goes her way, Garbine Muguruza will most certainly get a rematch with Serena Williams in the Wimbledon finals…

The 22-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan professional tennis player, who lost to the World No. 1 tennis player 4-6, 4-6 in last year’s final, is seeded No. 2 for this year’s tournament at the All-England Club.

Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza, who bested Williams at the French Open to win the first Grand Slam title of her career, cannot face Serena, seeded No.1, until the final at Wimbledon, since they’re both in separate halves of the draw.

Seedings were based on the current world rankings but rearranged to reflect players’ grass-court achievements.

Muguruza is the highest-seeded Hispanic player on the women’s and men’s side. She’s followed by Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro at No. 13 and Caroline Garcia, who recently won her first-ever title on grass at the Mallorca Open, at No. 31.

Spain’s David Ferrer is the highest-seeded player on the men’s side at No. 13. He’s followed by Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut at No. 14, Spain’s Feliciano Lopez at No. 22 and Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas at No. 29.

Play at the third Grand Slam of the year starts Monday.

GENTLEMEN’S SINGLES
1 DJOKOVIC, Novak (SRB)
2 MURRAY, Andy (GBR)
3 FEDERER, Roger (SUI)
4 WAWRINKA, Stan (SUI)
5 NISHIKORI, Kei (JPN)
6 RAONIC, Milos (CAN)
7 GASQUET, Richard (FRA)
8 THIEM, Dominic (AUT)
9 CILIC, Marin (CRO)
10 BERDYCH, Tomas (CZE)
11 GOFFIN, David (BEL)
12 TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
13 FERRER, David (ESP)
14 BAUTISTA AGUT, Roberto (ESP)
15 KYRGIOS, Nick (AUS)
16 SIMON, Gilles (FRA)
17 MONFILS, Gael (FRA)
18 ISNER, John (USA)
19 TOMIC, Bernard (AUS)
20 ANDERSON, Kevin (RSA)
21 KOHLSCHREIBER, Philipp (GER)
22 LOPEZ, Feliciano (ESP)
23 KARLOVIC, Ivo (CRO)
24 ZVEREV, Alexander (GER)
25 TROICKI, Viktor (SRB)
26 PAIRE, Benoit (FRA)
27 SOCK, Jack (USA)
28 QUERREY, Sam (USA)
29 CUEVAS, Pablo (URU)
30 DOLGOPOLOV, Alexandr (UKR)
31 SOUSA, Joao (POR)
32 POUILLE, Lucas (FRA)

LADIES’ SINGLES
1 WILLIAMS, Serena (USA)
2 MUGURUZA, Garbine (ESP)
3 RADWANSKA, Agnieszka (POL)
4 KERBER, Angelique (GER)
5 HALEP, Simona (ROU)
6 AZARENKA, Victoria (BLR)
7 VINCI, Roberta (ITA)
8 BENCIC, Belinda (SUI)
9 WILLIAMS, Venus (USA)
10 KEYS, Madison (USA)
11 KVITOVA, Petra (CZE)
12 BACSINSZKY, Timea (SUI)
13 SUAREZ NAVARRO, Carla (ESP)
14 KUZNETSOVA, Svetlana (RUS)
15 STOSUR, Samantha (AUS)
16 PLISKOVA, Karolina (CZE)
17 KONTA, Johanna (GBR)
18 SVITOLINA, Elina (UKR)
19 STEPHENS, Sloane (USA)
20 CIBULKOVA, Dominika (SVK)
21 ERRANI, Sara (ITA)
22 PAVLYUCHENKOVA, Anastasia (RUS)
23 JANKOVIC, Jelena (SRB)
24 IVANOVIC, Ana (SRB)
25 STRYCOVA, Barbora (CZE)
26 BEGU, Irina-Camelia (ROU)
27 BERTENS, Kiki (NED)
28 VANDEWEGHE, Coco (USA)
29 SAFAROVA, Lucie (CZE)
30 KASATKINA, Daria (RUS)
31 GARCIA, Caroline (FRA)
32 MLADENOVIC, Kristina (FRA)

Estrella Burgos Wins Ecuador Open Title

Victor Estrella Burgos is a back-to-back champion…

The 35-year-old Dominican tennis player rallied from a set down to beat Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Sunday to retain his title on clay in the Ecuador Open in Quito.

Victor Estrella Burgos

It was only Estrella Burgos’ second ATP singles title, and both have come at this tournament.

Bellucci was trying to win his fifth ATP singles title, but he ran out of steam after dropping the second set in a tiebreaker.

The monthlong Latin American clay-court season moves on Monday to Buenos Aires with the Argentina Open, where former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal is the top-seeded player and fellow Spaniard David Ferrer is No. 2. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is No. 3 and American John Isner is No. 4. All four have byes into the second round.

Nadal Advances to ATP World Tour Finals Semifinals

Rafael Nadal stays perfect at this year’s ATP World Tour Finals.

The 29-year-old Spanish tennis star remains unbeaten in his round robin campaign, after extending his perfect mark to 3-0 on Friday.

Rafael Nadal

David Ferrer turned in a valiant effort after rallying from two breaks down in the first set, but Nadal responded in kind, wrapping up the thrilling victory 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4.

Following a rocky start to 2015, Nadale, the world No. 5, is gaining great momentum at the season finale in London.

A 17-4 post-US Open mark has included five Top 10 wins and now three straight this week at The O2.

He enters an Open Era record 46th clash against Novak Djokovic in Saturday’s semifinals after surviving a gritty two-hour and 37-minute battle against Ferrer.

Tested often, he refused to back down, even with a semifinal berth already assured.

Nadal, who notched his 60th win of the season on Wednesday, secured the immediate advantage, breaking Ferrer to 15 in the first game of the match.

Stepping inside the baseline, a rifled backhand winner down-the-line and Ferrer forehand error put him ahead 1-0. Nadal claimed 10 of the first 11 points as he raced to a 3-0 lead behind a second break. But Ferrer would go on a run of his own, taking 12 of 14 points to snatch both breaks back and draw level at 3-3. They would again exchange breaks in the 11th and 12th games, as Ferrer broke Nadal serving for the set at 6-5 – saving a set point – following a seven-minute game. In the tie-break, a wayward lob and double fault from Nadal would give Ferrer a pair of early mini-breaks and he would emerge with the opener after exactly one hour.

Nadal had confirmed his place opposite Djokovic – runner-up in the second group – in Saturday’s semi-finals after defeating Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka earlier in the week.

He qualified for the last four at the season finale for a fifth time in seven appearances.

Ferrer Outlasts John Isner to Reach Paris Masters Semifinals

David Ferrer is still in the running for this year’s Paris Masters title.

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis player, the 2012 champion, followed up by beating 13th-seeded American John Isner 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

David Ferrer

Ferrer, who has won five titles this year, seemed to be cruising when he broke Isner in the eighth game of the second set. That gave him a chance to serve out the match, but from 40-15 his composure deserted him.

“I was waiting for him to make mistakes,” Ferrer said.

Isner forced a tiebreaker, clinching it with a huge forehand that clipped Ferrer’s outstretched racket.

Ferrer was given a warning from the chair umpire at the start of the third set when he yelled out in frustration after missing four consecutive break points.

But he easily took Isner’s next service game, although the American was clearly struggling. At 0-40, he hunched over and then took a medical timeout at the changeover.

“My stomach was just cramping up, so was I some pain,” Isner said.

Ferrer held easily for 3-1 and then broke again when Isner hit a big forehand wide.

Ferrer next faces second-seed Andy Murray in the semifinals.

Ferrer Defeats Steve Johnson to Win Austrian Open Title

David Ferrer is one step closer to earning a spot in the ATP World Tour Finals.

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis player strengthened his hand in the race to the end-of-year finals after winning the Austrian Open with a fighting 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 defeat of American Steve Johnson.

David Ferrer  

Ferrer, who joins Roger Federer with five titles this year – the pair are second behind Novak Djokovic on nine – now stands in solid contention for one of the two remaining places in the eight-man field for the World Tour Finals starting on November 15.

Ferrer joins Kei Nishikori in joint seventh in the race for the eight-man World Tour Finals in London from November 15-22.

Ferrer claimed the 26th trophy of his career as he defeated Johnson, who was playing in his first final.

Ferrer set up three match points in the third set with his seventh ace after a break in the previous game and converted on his first opportunity.

Ferrer lost the final a year ago at the Stadthalle to Andy Murray.

The last Spaniard to win in Vienna was Feliciano Lopez in 2004.